There seems to be so much head shaking craziness all around us these days. From senseless shootings and violence, out of control politics, over the top excesses that challenge others to push the envelope to even further extremes, to worries about unmanned drones flying overhead and home appliances spying and sharing valuable personal information. So many of today’s modern creations boggle the mind, even from just a short while back in time. But are we using them for the betterment of our society or are they becoming the catalyst that drive us to these wild extreme measures?
I can remember a time not long ago when life was slower and it seemed as though the majority of the country shared similar values. Collectively the nation knew right from wrong and in doing so kept us focused on life’s daily challenges, family and a shared sense of community. These values are still on display today but we also know that many among us are afraid to speak out and express their views for fear of retaliation or humiliation. As a nation we’ve become more driven by a vocal minority then a silent majority.
The computing power of today’s cheapest smart phone far exceeds the computing power used by the NASA space capsule that first put man on the Moon. It seems the power and capabilities of these little devices are increasing so rapidly one has to wonder where it will lead. And are these technological marvels becoming too smart and too controlling over our lives?
Technology and its inventions can be a distraction that changes the focus of human purpose. I’m concerned that many of the problems facing society today are driven by a material belief that is placing greater faith in human self reliance than placing our trust in God, the true creator and supreme being. As we prepare for the celebrations of Passover and Easter, once again we see government entities opting for political correctness by removing the word Easter from traditional celebrations in schools and communities. They claim to be doing so out of fear of offending but in reality it is fear of lawsuits by a small but vocal minority.
Like Christmas, Easter has become increasingly commercialized. But by removing the true meaning, we allow the holiday to become nothing more than a Hallmark event. We no longer collectively look for divine support and no longer speak out when obvious actions erode the origins of our nation built on the freedoms endowed by our creator.
I wonder if in time, as technology expands and we become more and more reliant on technology, will it be used wisely? Can we maintain control over the information or will it be used to negatively affect society? I also wonder if something as remarkable as the smart phone is becoming the golden idol of choice in society today? Are we becoming seduced by its capabilities, its dynamic intelligence and vibrant display? People seem so captivated by their phones today they simply can’t put them down. The smart phone allure is so powerful it is having serious effects on both workplace productivity and personal relationships.
Now don’t get me wrong, I too am a smart phone user but as this technology advances we must not let it be the central point around which our lives revolve. Personal relationships, love of family and neighbor and the recognition of our creator must remain paramount in our lives or the problems that plague our society will only grow worse. Our ability to solve interpersonal disagreements won’t happen when our mind, eyes and thumbs are focused on the cyber world, a capable distraction, but never the end all.
Faith-based democracies, like the United States and Israel, are places where the freedom to practice and express ones faith has flourished and survived, because they’ve remained true to their founding origins. These are important facts to keep in mind this week as we celebrate the holy events of Passover and Easter, keeping in mind their historical relevance, which is very much still a priority in our lives today.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.